Indiana News

Lawsuit Demands Specialty License Plate for Group Helping Gay, Lesbian Teens

Indiana Youth Group contends BMV guidelines too arbitrary

9/24/2010

A support group for gay and lesbian teenagers is suing to force the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue a specialty license plate for the group.

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The BMV says Indiana Youth Group failed to demonstrate the required "uncommon level of statewide distinction and benefit." Indiana Youth Group contends those standards are too vague.

Since other youth organizations, including the Boy Scouts and 4-H, have been approved, IYG concludes the state is illegally discriminating based on what the groups stand for.

Indiana Youth Group runs afoul of one specific rule with its plans to use the proceeds to pay staffers. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Gavin Rose contends no one ever told the group that was a problem, and questions whether the BMV checks up on how other honorees are using the proceeds from their plates.

IYG first applied for a specialty plate in 2008. The BMV says all 18 applications received that year were rejected. Spokesman Dennis Rosebrough says IYG failed to submit petitions from people declaring they would buy the plate if offered.

IYG fixed that oversight in 2009, turning in 950 signatures, but was still rejected.

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